OM System OM-5 High ISO Sample Images

Here’s a selection of images I’ve shot at high ISOs with the Olympus OM-1 under real-world conditions to give a sense of how it performs in low

OM System OM-5 Mirrorless Camera
Last Updated:

This post may include affiliate links. Read more.

One of my core requirements for any camera I carry with me on my travels is that it performs well in challenging lighting conditions. So I’ve been curious to test that out on the new OM System OM-5, especially after shooting with the Olympus OM-1.

Olympus is now OM System

In 2020-21, the photography business of iconic camera brand Olympus was spun off and sold. The core remaining Olympus brand is focusing on medical and scientific products. The camera and photography side was then rebranded as OM System, with the first cameras and lenses under that brand coming out at the end of 2021.

The Micro Four Thirds system is committed to a smallish sensor. It’s a defining feature of the concept. On the plus side, that paves the way for smaller cameras and lenses. On the negative side, smaller sensors tend to struggle–at least compared to larger sensors–in low light shooting.

So I was quite pleasantly surprised at the low-light performance of the OM-1. And I was interested to see how the OM-5 stacked up.

While the OM-5 was launched after the OM-1, it actually uses older technology. 1 It also has a narrower ISO range (200 to 25600 natural; down to ISO 64 in extended range). I found its performance good up to around ISO 3200 to ISO 6400 but markedly less impressive above that (although the in-camera noise reduction applied to the JPG versions does a good job of masking over the noise issues (but less so with reduced dynamic range and colors)). It’s probably not a coincidence that ISO 6400 is the ceiling for the Auto ISO feature.

Of course, every photographer is going to have a different set of preferences for when the image quality is too degraded, and it’s also going to vary from scene to scene and the use it’s being put to.

Precisely where the threshold between “normal” and “high” ISO is obviously a highly subjective judgment. For these purposes, I’m going to put it around ISO 3200 because most decent cameras these days can handle at least up to that without any real difficulty.

OM System OM-5 Mirrorless Camera

Images at High ISOs from the OM System OM-5

Here’s a small selection of high-ISO images I’ve shot with the OM-5.

At the top are some general images. Below that are some sequences of the same scene running from ISO 3200 up to the top of the OM-5 ISO range at ISO 25600.

These are mostly unedited; there’s some slight increase in the slider exposure on some of the display versions, but none of the originals at the links. Normally, I’d apply more post-processing to these, but since objective here is to look at the results straight out of camera, I’ve left these untouched. The display versions on this page are from the JPG versions, which have the camera’s own noise reduction applied. You can also download the original unedited version straight from the camera (both JPG and RAW).

For these, I’ve left the OM-5 on its default setting for noise reduction (Standard). But it’s possible to turn it off or choose a Low, Standard, or High setting by going to:

MENU > Settings > E1 > Noise Filter

I’ve included the ISO used for each in its caption along with links to the original, straight-out-of-camera JPGs (with the camera’s default Standard Noise Filter applied) and RAW (.orf) files. You can also click on each image for a full-size version.

High ISO photo taken with OM System OM-5 camera
I took this photo with an OM-5 at ISO 6400. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
High ISO photo taken with OM System OM-5 camera
I took this photo with an OM-5 at ISO 6400. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
High ISO photo taken with OM System OM-5 camera
OM-5 at ISO 6400. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
High ISO photo taken with OM System OM-5 camera
OM-5 at ISO 6400. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
High ISO photo taken with OM System OM-5 camera
I took this photo with an OM-5 at ISO 6400. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
High ISO photo taken with OM System OM-5 camera
OM-5 at ISO 6400. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
High ISO photo taken with OM System OM-5 camera
OM-5 at ISO 6400. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
High ISO photo taken with OM System OM-5 camera
OM-5 at ISO 6400. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)

High ISO Sequences

Here are some sequences I shot of the same scenes at each ISO step from ISO 3200 to ISO 25600.

High ISO Range / Set 1

ISO 3200. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 4000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 5000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 6400. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 8000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 10000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 12800. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 16000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 20000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 25600. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)

High ISO Range / Set 2

OM System OM-5 High ISO Test Image
ISO 3200. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 4000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 5000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 6400. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 8000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 10000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 12800. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 16000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 20000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 25600. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)

High ISO Range / Set 3

ISO 3200. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 4000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 5000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 6400. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 8000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 10000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 12800. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 16000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 20000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 25600. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)

High ISO Range / Set 4

OM System OM-5 High ISO Test Image
ISO 3200. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 4000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 5000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 6400. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 8000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 10000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 12800. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 16000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 20000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 25600. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)

High ISO Range / Set 5

ISO 3200. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 4000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 5000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 6400. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 8000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 10000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 12800. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 16000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 20000. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)
ISO 25600. Download: Original JPG | Original RAW (ORF)

Tools for Fixing Image Files

I deliberately haven’t applied extensive corrections to these images. And the general rule of thumb in photography is that it’s better to get the shot right at the time of capture rather than trying to fix it after. That’s a great aspiration, but it’s not always possible to do if you’re bumping up against limitations or flaws in gear, conditions, or technique.

But it’s worth mentioning that there are some excellent tools available to help address common issues with digital images. And they’re getting better and better all the time as the power of AI ramps up. They can deal remarkably well with anything from high-ISO noise to lens issues like distortion and sharpness. (Note: I’m focusing here on corrections related to image quality, not image enhancement tools.) All-round image processing apps like Lightroom Classic and Capture One have solid tools built in. But it’s also possible to take it much further with more specialized tools.

There are specialized image editing apps available that can do pretty remarkable things in cleaning up image noise at high ISOs, correcting lens barrel distortion or lens vignetting, or other optical issues that image quality out of the camera. Here are some apps worth a look (and have free trials).

For Image Noise & High ISO Artifacts

For Lens-Related Optical Issues

  • DxO PureRAW (again offers an impressive suite of automatic fixes that are applied before you start editing the images)
  • DxO ViewPoint (correcting for distortion and geometry)
  • Topaz Labs Sharpen AI (in addition to standard unsharp tools, includes focus correction and shake reduction)

Things Worth Knowing

The OM-5’s Auto ISO feature only goes up to ISO 6400. If you want to go higher than that you’ll need to set the ISO manually.

Price & Availability of the OM System OM-5

The OM-5 body has an MSRP of $1200. It’s also sold with a 12-45mm ƒ/4 PRO kit lens for $1600.

Check the current price and available at:

OM System OM-5 Camera Accessories

These are the model numbers for the official accessories for the OM System OM-5.

  • Battery: BLS-50 lithium-ion rechargeable battery
  • External Charger: BCS-5
  • USB-AC Adapter: F-5AC AC wall adapter
  • Grip: ECG-5
  • Remote: RM-WR1 wireless remote control
  • Eyecup: EP-16 / EP-15
  • Flash:
    • FL-LM3 electronic flash (the smallest of the flash units)
    • FL-900R electronic flash unit
    • FL-700WR electronic flash unit
    • STF-8 macro flash
    • FC-WR wireless commander
    • FR-WR wireless receiver

Related

  1. The OM-5 is a newer camera than the OM-1–at least in terms of when they were released onto the market. But in many ways, it’s an older model. It has an older sensor, older processor, older menu system, and generally older performance specs than the OM-1. Basically, it replaces the Olympus E-M5 III and sits in the middle of OM-System’s lineup (with the OM-1) the newest flagship model).[]
David Coleman / Photographer

David Coleman

I'm a professional freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my travel photography here. More »

Leave a Comment